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Welcome to the World of Amber

http://www.emporia.edu/earthsci/amber/amber.htm

Disseminating and Communicating Information via WWW

Susan Ward Aber

Earth Science Department, Emporia State University, Emporia, Kansas USA

Amber has gained fame through the fictional book and movie "Jurassic Park" and news accounts reporting on life found in amber and DNA extraction. Topics such as amber, which have specialized scientific interest, may have limited means of disseminating factual information to popular audiences. Traditional ways of disseminating veritable information are via professional meetings, museum exhibits, journals, and books, which usually attain a regional audience with both marketing and geographic limitations. These media can be slow to update. The Internet reaches a global audience and has rapid update possibilities; access is limited only when the necessary hardware and Internet connections are restricted.

Amber's recent popularity can be blended with scientific facts and research findings disseminated by the Internet with amber devoted web pages, such as World of Amber (http://www.emporia.edu/earthsci/amber/amber.htm). This amber web document presents topics such as, physical properties, geologic and geographic amber occurrences, life in amber, recovery, identification, uses, myths, types, care of amber, museums, and references. The webpage takes advantage of other material on the Internet through hyperlinks to external sites; these external links show thoroughout the document and are assembeled in the WebLink Index. The World of Amber has been utilized by tens of thousands of people since it was created in January 1996. The world wide email correspondence has been gratifying, and lends credence to the educational goal of this page. This amber repackaging product, which uses the Internet as its dissemiating venue, enhances utilization and merits study in itself as a viable communication tool for both scientists and the public.

Abstract taken from: Aber, S.W. 1998. Welcome to the World of Amber. World Congress on Amber Inclusions, Session Program, p. 135. Vitoria-Gasteiz, Álava, Basque Country, Spain.

Dissemination

Professional meetings, museum exhibits, journals, books, and listservs act as avenues for scientists to disseminate and communicate information, although all have marketing and geographic limitations. The Internet disseminates the World of Amber...

Communication

Simply based on the number of visits to the page, less than 2% of the visitors are making e-mail contact. E-mail correspondence directly related to the amber web page consists of 72% questions and 28% comments. The nature of the questions can be organized based on the topics found in the World of Amber:

Examples of E-mail from Physical Properties, Geologic/Geographic Occurrences...

Examples of E-mail from Life, Recovery Methods, Imitations/Identification...

Examples of E-mail from Museums, References, WebLink Index ...

Examples of E-mail from Uses, Myths, Care, Types of Amber...

Conclusions

A fascination with amber is not limited to age or country boundaries. Amber e-mail correspondence has come from second grade students to retired people, from Kansas to Hong Kong, and from professors to curious folks. Responses, although time consuming, have been a pleasure. Print and electronic references are given out, as well as contacts to knowledgeable individuals. The interest in amber bridges many careers:

How can such a diverse population be reached? The goal of the World of Amber is to disseminate and communicate information via the WWW. The WWW is instantaneous and easy to update, with global potential for communication. Whether your interest in amber is career related or simply an avocation, I enjoy hearing from you! This amber web page strives to link the general public's perceptions to the scientific world, acting as a communication and dissemination resource. Thanks for your input and visit!

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